Kauai biomass plant to get fuel from fire-damaged forest - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Kauai biomass plant to get fuel from fire-damaged forest

KOKEE, Hawaii (AP) - The state is cutting down trees on 300 acres of Kauai forest reserve scorched by wildfire in 2012 and sending the wood to be processed at new biomass-to-energy plant.

The Garden Island newspaper in Lihue reports Thursday 15,000 tons of eucalyptus and pine trees will be removed. Native and non-invasive species will be planted in their place.

The project aims to prevent flooding and erosion and limit damage caused by three blazes that burned about 4,000 acres in the Kokee area.

The biomass-to-energy plant is scheduled to start operating next month. It's expected to supply about 11 percent of Kauai's energy needs.

Most of the plant's fuel will come from the Kalepa area by Wailua Falls and Koloa, where the facility is located.

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